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Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

We just had a thoroughly enjoyable day.   Our good friends invited us to the Symphony in the Flint Hills.  What a marvelous event.  It’s a fund raiser to heighten the appreciation and knowledge of the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie.   The Flint Hills are a region in eastern Kansas and northern Oklahoma renowned for their prime cattle grazing.   The Flint Hills got their name from the abundant deposits of flint lying near or on the surface of the land.   Aren’t they lovely?

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

Started in 2006, the Symphony in the Flint Hills become a Kansas tradition that now attracts approximately 7,000 attendees from all over the world.  There are a variety of speakers in multiple tents scattered across the prairie, talking about topics as diverse as The Kanza Indians in the Flint Hills to The Tallgrass Prairie and Cattle Ranching.

I really enjoyed learning all about the challenges of running a profitable cow-calf operation.  (And I sometimes think I have it tough…)  We had a fantastic dinner of pulled pork and BBQ beans and then settled in for some great music.  One year they even staged a cattle drive on the hills behind the orchestra.  Outstanding!

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

It’s one of my favorite places in the world.

I grew up not far from there.  I used to love it most of all when a mega storm would blow up!

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad

So what, you may ask, does all this have to do with Chicken Salad?   Not a darn thing.  I just thought you’d find it interesting.  Although, now that I think about it this would make an great recipe for a picnic.

There are a lot of good chicken salad recipes out there.  I think this is one of the great ones.  Here’s why:   The cool sweetness of the red grapes with a hint of garlic takes this chicken salad to a whole new level. Combining sour cream with the mayo adds a wonderful savory element.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.   Your whole family will love it!  This Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad recipe is hands down the perfect go-to chicken salad for sandwiches (think flaky croissants).   Jeff also likes to sometimes eat it on top of a bed of lettuce (when I remind him he’s on a diet).

Full of tender juicy chicken, fresh sliced red grapes, celery, toasted walnuts and crunchy celery, there’s a lot to love here.  In fact, the batch that I made to serve 6 today only has 2 helpings left after my dear husband got done with it.

This makes a great salad for quick delicious lunch or a light supper, and takes hardly any time to mix together.  The sweetness from the grapes always makes it a favorite with kids!

Easy Delicious Poached Chicken Recipe

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

You can either buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it, or make up a batch of my poached chicken.  It cooks up 14 cups of incredibly delicious poached chicken.  All ready for you to shred (quickly and easily in a stand mixer) as the foundation for multiple meals!   This chicken salad recipe uses 4 cups, leaving you 3 cups for Cheesy Chicken Melts and 7 cups left over for this fabulous tortilla soup!

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Great Chicken Salad for a Crowd

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

If you’re hosting a family reunion, pool party or girls camp, you gotta try this Chunky Chicken Salad.   It’s great in a wrap or served on its own.  It’s also delicious served in a croissant for a bridal luncheon or a brunch.   It can be made up to 2 days ahead (it gets even better), serves 25 and is easily doubled or tripled if you’ve said “Yes!” to an even larger crowd.

When served alone, as straight-up chicken salad, the average serving size is 6 – 8 ounces per serving.  For sandwiches or (large flour tortilla) wraps, plan on 5 ounces of chicken salad per wrap.  It’s easy.  Just fill a large flour tortilla with about 10 ounces of chicken salad.  Roll up.  Cut in half (I like to cut it on the diagonal).  And secure each half with a toothpick.  Makes 32 (1/2 tortilla wrap) servings.

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Family Size

 

Best Ever Chunky Chicken Salad
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Makes 6 cups.   For the shredded chicken you can poach a couple chicken breasts or buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken.

An AlohaDreams.com recipe

Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless - skinless - cooked and shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 1 pound red seedless grapes - cut in half
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise - I always use Hellman’s or Best
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup English walnut pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large garlic clove - minced
  • 1 stalk celery - chopped
Instructions
  1. Poach and shred the chicken breasts.  Cut the grapes in half.  Slice the celery stalk length-wise, then slice into small slices.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until well combined.
  3. Can serve immediately, however it's even better refrigerated for 30 minutes - 1 hour.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE:
  1. Can be made up to 2 days in advance and held in the refrigerator, covered.

Large Group

 

Best Ever Chicken Salad for a Crowd
Prep Time
45 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Makes 32 (5 ounce) servings.  For the shredded chicken you can poach several pounds of chicken breasts, using my easy method to poach chicken or buy 4 pre-cooked rotisserie chickens.   Serve alone or fill 1/2 tortilla for a wrap. 

An AlohaDreams.com recipe

Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 8 Chicken breasts - boneless, skinless - cooked and shredded (about 16 cups)
  • 4 pounds red seedless grapes - cut in half
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise - I always use Hellman’s or Best
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups English walnut peices
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large garlic cloves - minced
  • 4 stalks celery sliced
OPTIONAL FOR WRAPS:
  • 16 large flour tortillas
  • 32 toothpicks
Instructions
  1. Poach and shred the chicken breasts. Cut the grapes in half. Slice the celery stalk length-wise, then slice into small slices.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until well combined.
  3. Can serve immediately, however it's even better refrigerated, covered, for 30 minutes - 1 hour.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE:
  1. Can be made up to 2 days in advance and held in the refrigerator, covered.

  2. If serving wraps, lay each tortilla flat and spoon on about 10 ounces chicken salad. Roll tortilla, cut in half and secure with 2 tooth picks to create 2 wraps.

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